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UC Merced’s Total Grant and Contract Activity Tops $15 Million

September 21, 2005

Researchers expended $5.48 million last fiscal year alone,
contributing to economy and advancing knowledge

MERCED - Although students at the University of California,
Merced, only started classes this month, many of the university’s
professors and staff members have been hard at work for more than
two years. Their efforts are paying off. In its short lifetime so
far, UC Merced has brought in more than $15 million in grants and
contracts for research and other programs, mostly from federal
agencies. The university spent $5.48 million of that money in the
fiscal year 2004-4005, bringing in equipment and staff members and
helping to fuel the local and regional economy.

“We’re extremely proud of what our faculty and staff brings into
UC Merced in research grants and contracts. The ultimate measure of
the university’s positive impact is the role that these dollars
have on both students and the local, regional and world
communities,” said Keith Alley, vice chancellor for research at UC
Merced. “The benefits come in many forms, from cutting edge
education to the development of new technologies and employment
opportunities in the local community.”

More than 70 externally sponsored grants and contracts
contributed to the $5.48 million spending total at UC Merced,
including projects in all three academic schools: Natural Sciences;
Engineering; and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Natural
Sciences, which includes the already-thriving Sierra Nevada
Research Institute, spent the most - $2.46 million in the ‘04-‘05
fiscal year. Planned research institutes in World Cultures, Energy
and Systems Biology are expected to grow in coming years, adding to
the research-related productivity of UC Merced.

In addition to university research, grants fund programs that
directly benefit the community. Some of these are academic
preparation efforts that reach out to Central Valley communities,
such as the Parent Empowerment Program and the Gear Up! Program,
both of which are run by UC Merced’s Center for Educational
Partnerships. These programs help area students prepare for higher
education. Another community program, the Small Business
Development Center, helps entrepreneurs with tasks like creating
business plans and obtaining loans to start new enterprises in the
area, creating jobs for others in the process.

Salaries make up 30 percent of the expenses in UC Merced’s grant
and contract spending activity. Salary and other dollars stay in
the local economy to cycle through housing, retail and other
avenues that benefit the regional economy, since professors and
other members of research teams make their homes in Merced and
surrounding area.

While federal sources account for most of the grant and contract
spending activity at UC Merced with $4.56 million, other types of
grants and contracts also contribute to the total. State dollars
added up to more than $650,000, and industry and foundation sources
each played a role with more than $100,000 each.

“We expect continued growth in research funding, and the
opportunities it affords, as our faculty grows in the coming
years,” Alley said.

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